By Andy Smerdon
This vehicle is a Armstrong Siddeley 1926 18hp van , registration NS 774 one of a kind in the world.
It started off life in 1926 as a car ( as per the blue car in the picture ) and we know from a surviving log book it was owned in the 1950s by Wisharts of Stromness now a hardware store but then a garage and car hire company.
In the 60s it was then owned by JD Peace of Kirkwall another car hire company . Sadly neither companies have any record of who ever owned it .
Then at some point ( we don’t know when ) someone put a Victorian hearse body on the original chassis .
Then by the early 80s the vehicle was sold to a man in Rugby who restored it to its present condition as a van .
What we would like readers to help us with is – does anyone remember this vehicle BEFORE the 1950s in the area ( long shot I know but people have long memories ) when it was still a car ?
Or if anyone knows if the hearse body was put on in Orkney as well and by whom as it would seem no owner is registered between the JD Peace and the gentleman in Rugby .
Our website is Benyamin the bread van and we can be emailed from the website
This is really our last hope of clearing up the history of a nearly 100 year old car.
If we can learn that the car has always been in Orkney from new we have a plan to bring it back when it is 100 years old in 5 years time from its current home in Essex .
Thanks for any help you can give.